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Summary – 

With social media and the influx of nutrition related documentaries, it’s no wonder people are so confused about what to eat. In today’s episode, I share one of the most important things you will ever learn when it comes to food which will help clear up any confusion you may have. 

Things I Mention – 

  • The one thing that should be taught in every primary school about food. 
  • How to ditch the confusion and go back to basics with your own nutrition needs. 
  • All the different diets I had to study to become a Holistic Health Coach.
  • How your nutrition needs change as your life evolves. 
  • What to do if you suspect you have a food allergy or intolerance.  

PLUS, lots of little wisdom bombs that will change the way you think about food forever! 

Links & Helpful Resources – 

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I’d hate to start this episode by dropping a big word into the mix but I’m going to start this episode with a big word that’s going to sound a little scary at first but trust me, you’ll be all over it by the end of this chat. That word is bio-individuality and we’re going to dive deep into this concept today because when it comes to Nutrition, it is the single most important thing you should know. Truth be told, I also think this should be taught to kids at school. 

Bio-individuality means that one person’s food can be another person’s poison. Sounds heavy I know but it is essentially just the idea that no one diet or lifestyle can work for everyone. Every single person on this planet has their own unique needs and will have a way of eating and living that works best for them as an individual. 

My perfect diet for example could make my husband or my best friend gain weight or feel lethargic, whilst their perfect diet could leave me feeling weak and depleted. 

With social media and the influx of nutrition related documentaries, it’s no wonder people are so confused about what to eat and what not to eat which is why the concept of bio-individuality is the absolute best place to start – it is a back to basics approach to food. In a world where Keto rules one week and Veganism is the only way the next week, how do you know which diet works for you when every single one of them promises nothing but good health and the added bonus of substantial weight loss.

When I was studying to become a Health coach, I had to learn the pros and cons of more than 100 different diets. You name it, I know the good and bad of every single one – Atkins, Blood Type, GI, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean, Paleo, Raw Food, Intuitive Eating, FODMAP, Superfood, Weight Watchers, Zone, Anti-Ageing, 4-Hour Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet (yes it’s a thing!), The Over 40 Diet … oh my gosh, the list goes on!! 

When it comes to Nutrition, if we really want to thrive from the inside/ out, we need to try and purposefully forget almost everything we’ve ever been told about diets. Easier said than done right when a new diet pops into our feed every 3 days?! 

So let’s bring it back to bio-individuality because I really want to mention that our needs also change over time. Exactly what you’re doing now probably won’t work in the same way as your life evolves. This is why it’s important to keep checking in and tuning in to your body to see what’s working for you especially if you’ve gone through big life changes such as moving, a new job or starting a family. A few things to consider when seeing what works for you for your bio-individuality are lifestyle, occupation, geographic areas, body type, age and culture. One diet for instance, might claim that eating 10x bananas a day will improve your health significantly but if you live in an area where bananas can’t physically grow or if they do grow, their nutrient profile and the soil that they are grown in is absolute rubbish, then you’re not going to thrive on that diet. 

What’s more, it has been scientifically proven that are dietary needs are linked to two very specific and personal factors – 

  1. How an individual regulates blood sugar levels and; 
  2. Our gut health

In my opinion, there is only 1 diet (if you want to call it that!) that works and that is the Elimination Diet, if you need it. In terms of food, if you have no troubles whatsoever with how you currently feel or the way your body digests certain foods or specific food groups, then there should be no reason for you to implement any sort of altered way of eating. Stick with the recommended 2 fruits/ 5 veg, eat whole foods, limit sugar & processed foods, ensure you eat enough protein, drink filtered water and you’re good to go – just remember to check in every once in a while to ensure that those things are still working for you. 

If however you feel that something you’re eating, could be slowing down your ability to thrive, you can use the Elimination Diet to help you determine what works for you as an individual.  An elimination diet involves removing foods that may be causing allergic reactions or signs of intolerance. Common allergens include soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, caffeine, gluten and nuts.

The Elimination diet typically involves removing suspicious foods for a period of time – two weeks to one month – and observing how your body feels & reacts during this time. After the elimination phase, foods are reintroduced one at a time to see whether the symptoms resurface, signaling that a specific food could be the issue. Keeping a food diary is suggested for this.

True food allergies can affect the immune system and cause immediate symptoms such as hives, rashes, puffy eyes, vomiting, and even anaphylaxis however many people unknowingly suffer from food intolerances as symptoms can be less severe and even show up two or three days after eating the food. Food intolerance symptoms include indigestion, heartburn, nausea, cramps, headaches, and fatigue, among so many others.

A really good book on this, is The Elimination Diet by Alissa Segerston. I highly recommend this one as it takes you step by step through a proven three-phase program that will help you get to the bottom of any nutrition-related symptoms. 

Ok, today’s episode was a little lengthy though I really hope it helps any of you who are struggling with feelings of overwhelm and confusion about all things food related. It really doesn’t need to be that way, we just need to remind ourselves to bring it back to basics.

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